Nico Muhly’s newish Mothertongue name-checks “Captain Digby’s Farewell,” The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, and a poem by King James I, among other esoterica, by way of highlighting the young composer’s ambition. Though his day job is as a footman to Philip Glass, and his orchestral works are performed in places as venerable as Carnegie Hall, he’s got a pop side, too: Björk, Antony Hegarty, and Will Oldham are all collaborators. Mothertongue may be a bit precious—lots of classically-trained-type soprano trills, harpsichord, and conspicuously dense arrangements—but there’s no doubting the dude’s versatility. Tonight, he performs with two other Brassland recording artists: Doveman, who refers to his compositions as “lamp-rock,” and Sam Amidon, a banjo-plucking folkster who shares more than just a first name with Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam. There will be intermingling.
Sat., Aug. 23, 7 p.m., 2008